(CNSNews.com) – Some Democrats in Congress are alarmed at the leftward lurch their party is taking, Sen. John Barrasso (R-Wyo.) said Sunday, commenting in particular on the “Green New Deal” and what he called the “Chicken Little, sky-is-falling approach of the socialist Democrats like [Alexandria] Ocasio-Cortez and the presidential candidates on the Democrats’ side of the aisle.”
Barrasso, who chairs the Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works, said the GND proposals are prohibitively expensive, will hit Americans’ bank accounts and cost jobs – and “will not work.”
Appearing on Fox News’ “Sunday Morning Futures,” Barrasso was asked by host Maria Bartiromo about the perception that the Democratic Party seems to be being led by Ocasio-Cortez and the freshman New Yorker’s ideas, and about how his Democratic colleagues viewed that.
“Some are very concerned with the position that the party has taken and the presidential candidates have taken,” he replied.
“I think [House Speaker] Nancy Pelosi is unnerved by this new group of Democrats in the House who are trying to take the entire party, and are succeeding in taking the entire party on this sharp left hand turn that’s going to – as the New York Times today said, careening off a [liberal] cliff, that’s where they’re heading.”
Barrasso, who chairs the Senate Republican Conference, challenged the cost, consequences and effectiveness of the GND proposals.
“The cost is staggering, astronomical, $93 trillion,” he said. “That would empty everyone’s bank account in America – from Warren Buffett all the way on down. SO the country cannot afford it.”
Among the consequences, Barrasso said the plan would cost families $65,000 per year, with higher energy and heating costs.
It would also hit jobs, including in the airline industry, he argued, referring to GND proponents’ views on air travel.
(A GND “frequently asked questions” document from Ocasio-Cortez’ office called for a total “overhaul” of transportation including the building of “high-speed rail at a scale where air travel stops becoming necessary.” The GND resolution which she and Sen. Edward Markey (D-Mass.) introduced last month calls for investment in “high-speed rail” as part of that envisaged transportation overhaul, but does not refer to air travel.)
And on the question of whether the proposals will work, Barrasso disputed that they would.
He noted that the U.S. is responsible for just 13 percent of global emissions of the “greenhouse gases” blamed for climate change, compared to 33 percent from China and India.
“You can’t power the country on wind turbines and solar panels alone, that’s only eight percent of our energy,” he said. “We just cannot allow ourselves to follow this Chicken Little, sky-is-falling approach of the socialist Democrats like Ocasio-Cortez and the presidential candidates on the Democrats’ side of the aisle.”
“We cannot follow them over the cliff. It is going to hurt jobs, hurt peoples’ ability to pay their mortgage, hurt our economy, hurt our nation in terms of national security.”
Democratic 2020 presidential candidates who have voiced support for the GND include Sens. Kamala Harris (Calif.), Cory Booker (N.J.), Elizabeth Warren (Mass.), Kirsten Gillibrand (N.Y.) and Amy Klobuchar (Minn.).
Barrasso argued that, rather than the GND proposals, the United States should be pursuing carbon capture and storage (CCS) – technologies to trap and store carbon emissions deep underground – as well as “new age nuclear power, where the reactors are smaller, better, safer.”
He pointed to the FUTURE Act, bipartisan legislation passed as part of a broader budget bill last year, to reform a tax credit for CCS projects in the U.S.
Just last week, the Environment and Public Works Committee held a hearing on another bipartisan bill promoting CCS, the Utilizing Significant Emissions with Innovative Technologies (USE IT) Act.